Examples: (1) I am guilty of not properly caring for my body in the form of sleep deprivation when I know that God calls me to rest (2) God is faithful and just to forgive our sins when we confess them
These two definitions of confession have come to mean quite a bit to me since reading the chapter Free to Confess in Rebekah Lyons' book You Are Free. Honestly I hadn't done a lot of confessing of wrong doing or of God's goodness because I figured in both cases He already knew. However, in recent months, I've been working more on admitting where I keep falling short so that I can receive His help and acknowledging just who He is so I don't forget. Unfortunately one look at a major obstacle and I'm likely to forget that He's bigger than whatever is trying to stare me down. True story.
Anyway, this morning as I was studying, I sensed that there is another aspect of confession that might not be so apparent but comes with a blessing: confession of weakness. Just because you know you have an area of weakness, doesn't mean it's necessarily going to lead to sin. And I think confessing it releases God's power in us.
I don't know how many times I've read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 about His power being made perfect in weakness. Probably at least dozens. But what hit me for the first time is that in order for God's power to be perfected, Paul had to admit he had a problem in the first place. Not that he was acting on it, or that it had lead to sinful behavior, but that he was struggling with something that he wished would go away.
If you've been walking with Jesus for any amount of time, I'm sure you've heard the standard phrases about Him not healing you until you will know Him as your Healer or Him not providing until you can acknowledge Him as Provider. I think this is the same thing.
When Paul wrote that we are saved by grace through faith so that no one can boast, I think God expected us to also acknowledge our weaknesses so that we know it's His power that helps us overcome them and not our determination, self-control, self-discipline, or self anything. He wants to make sure we know that we can't, but that He can.
I don't know that I've ever gone before His throne to say I can't do this without you. I think I've pushed myself through and exhausted every fiber of my being when He's wanted me to ask for help and then be still and let Him supply the power I needed to get it done. Moses gave a perfect example of this when he told God that unless the presence of the Lord went with them (the Israelites) that he wouldn't lead them because he knew he couldn't do it without God. (Exodus 33:15)
Maybe I'm the only one. Maybe it's just me that's straggling behind and doesn't seem to realize that God actually wants to help me, so that I can see His power in order to proclaim it to others. (Exodus 9:16) But if I'm not the only one, then I hope that you understand just how much He wants to power you, too. He never intended for us to do any of this living alone because if He had, He wouldn't have put His Spirit in us to dwell. It wasn't meant for just the big things, it was meant for all the things. We just need to be willing to admit we need help and then ask for it.
Jesus, I don't ask for help nearly as much as I should. I suppose I feel like I don't deserve it, that I should be able to handle it on my own, or that I'm going to use up what I apparently classify as a non-renewable resource. You set the pefect example for me to follow every time You turned to God in prayer. Help me admit my weaknesses and let me feel Your power work through me, on display for all to see. Amen.